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“Mommy, you know, I can HEAR my mind,” said nine-year-old son Gordon this morning. “In fact, I am listening to it right now.”
“Oh, that’s great!” said I. We are in the car, and just a block from their school. “What is your mind saying?”
He pauses a moment and then giggles. “It just said, ‘That’s so funny, I forgot to laugh.'”
“Mom, MY mind keeps telling me that I’m stupid,” chimes in eleven-year-old Joe.
“OH gosh, honey,” I say, stopping the car. We’ve just pulled up to the school. I turn my face around. “You are smart for noticing that. THAT is your critical voice. I know a lot about that. We can work on that.”
“Well, the way I get out of it is that I think that if I’m stupid, then my mind is also stupid,” he says. “So my mind is stupid for telling me that I’m stupid.” Therefore, he seemed to conclude that he’s not stupid. Right?
What to do? Their Friday morning begins with a school assembly and I don’t want them to be late. “This is a wonderful and huge conversation we are going to have later. You are really, really, really smart to notice what your mind is saying. You are definitely not stupid.”
He nods, throws his backpack on his shoulder, waves, and walks off.
I watch him, and feel like crying.